Sometimes development is carried out without the required planning permission or without following the details and conditions given by the council. We enforce planning to ensure that works don’t ruin the look and safety of an area and its community.

Planning enforcement will be considered for:

  • unauthorised display of advertisements
  • unauthorised work on protected trees
  • unauthorised work on listed buildings
  • unauthorised demolition of some buildings within a conservation area
  • unauthorised storage of hazardous materials
  • removal of protected hedgerows
  • allowing land to fall into such poor condition that it harms the quality of the area
  • harm to a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Breaching planning control

If you breach planning control:

  • it isn’t a criminal offence to carry out a work without planning permission but you may be prosecuted for work on listed buildings, protected trees or display of an advertisement
  • enforcement can only be taken if there is potential harm in planning terms
  • if there is a breach developers are advised to stop work until it’s resolved

Report a planning breach


If someone puts in a complaint against you we:

  • will contact you to tell you what the allegation is but not who reported it
  • decide if you have breached planning rules
  • may serve you with a Planning Contravention Notice and require you to provide information about the unauthorised development
  • may require you to remove or modify the work
  • may invite you to submit a retrospective planning application

Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) include our most spectacular habitats and each has a management plan and requires consent before works are carried out.

It is a criminal offence to harm a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and can result in a fine of up to £20,000 or, on conviction, an unlimited fine.

Search for a Site of Specific Scientific Interest

How we use your data

When you use our planning services, some of your data may be used to enforce planning breaches. 

You can find out what data we may use and what your data could be used for in our planning enforcement privacy policy.